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Madison and Hamilton: United or Divided in the Federalist Papers?

Federalism is a concept which involves territories or states that serve under a common control system. It is a form of government where several states can maintain their integrity while sharing a centralized government system. The USA uses federalism which was introduced in the 18th century. Before then, many people felt like Congress did not have sufficient power. As a result, there was the need to change the current constitution to enable the required changes in the system. Madison and Hamilton were among the contributing authors of the Federalist Papers. They were a series of essays describing the necessary changes for the US constitution. Both authors agreed on the need to change the current government, but their proposals had slight changes. For instance, Hamilton was for the idea of a central government in which the president would rule for life.

On the other hand, Madison preferred a government that had regulated power. They both agreed on a democratic government, but they had a different opinion on the government’s amount of power. Hamilton was a former soldier, which enabled him to become a good enforcer, while Madison was a state assembly member. Many people refer to Madison as the father of the constitution, as most of his work was used as the basis for the Bill of rights.

Hamilton and James Madison were the main authors of the Federalist papers, which was a continuous series of essays advocating for a constitution change. The series of 85 essays emphasize the establishment of a centralized government. However, there were slight opinions regarding the new government’s power.

The Federalist papers form the foundation for the Bill of rights. The series contains 85 essays that were written with the main purpose of encouraging New Yorkers to support the constitution change. In 1787, a draft was created in Philadelphia that outlines the changes intended for the new constitution. Therefore, the Federalist was an insight by two members of the constitution Convention (Sheehan: 2004). The purpose of the essays was also to expound in detail on what the new changes meant for the government and the citizens. Hamilton and Madison agreed that a new government was supposed to consist of a centralized power controlling the other states. Federalist papers are still being used in the interpretation of the constitution. The three authors responsible for the papers include Madison, Alexander, and Jay. The essays would then be published by the independent journal and the New York Packet. Other newspapers were also reprinting the Federalist essays in New York and other country states.

Alexander Hamilton is among the three authors of the Federalist Papers. He is among the forefathers of the United States of America. His main contribution was creating many of the financial systems and policies during the government of President George Washington. At the time, Hamilton was working as the government’s treasury secretary. With this position, Hamilton created the first two central banks for the USA. Hamilton is also celebrated for creating the United States Coast Guard. His role in Washington’s government enabled him to control funds regarding many government operations (Smith: 2007). Hamilton believed in a single centralized government that possessed power over the states. He also emphasizes the importance of a strong national defense followed by a strong economy to support the government’s operations. For all this to work, Hamilton believed in the necessity of an executive government. However, his ideas were being opposed strongly by Democratic – Republican Party leaders. Jefferson and Madison were against some of the ideologies presented by Hamilton for the new government. His ideas form the overall structure of the federalist government.

James Madison was the 4rth president of the United States of America. His main contribution was the role he played in creating and supporting a new constitution for the USA. Madison was also the author of the Bill of Rights during the 18th century. James Madison started with writing the Federalist papers. His work and ideologies led to the development of a Democratic – Republican Party. His rise to politics started at a young age as he was born into a prominent family in Virginia. His ideologies started during and after the American Revolutionary war. His role as a continental congress exposed him to the inefficiency of the government due to weakness in the national government. Therefore, he decided to help the government form a new constitution. Madison started his political journey by organizing the Constitution Convention (Sheehan: 2004). He joined two other authors, Hamilton and Jefferson, in writing essays regarding the constitution’s ratification. However, during the year 1790, Madison opposed a financial system proposed by Hamilton, the secretary of the treasury. Madison formed a political party called the Democratic – Republican Party, whose ideas did not align with the Federalist Party. Jefferson, with the help of Madison, was elected president via the Democratic-Republican Party. He became president in 1801, and he ruled for eight years. Madison was then elected as Jefferson’s successor, whereby he started the war in 1812. He was elected again for the second term as he had proved to Americans that their war against Britain was for Independence. He managed to add 23 million more acres of the Native Indians’ land to America during his time.

Both Hamilton and Madison believed in the creation of a centralized government. The argument was based on more power from a centralized government that would rule the rest of the states. Their ideas aligned based on creating a government that was more citizen-based with better policies. The government also needed a complex superior economic system that would pay the state’s debts. However, while Hamilton was advocating for a government with a submissive citizenry, Madison requested more power for the public opinion. Hamilton was in support of the British government system (Broadwater: 2021). According to him, and the system was effective in ruling over a large Nation. Hamilton was not involved in writing the constitution, but he was a major influence in determining the guidelines of the new constitution. His effective plans came with studying the president and witnessing all the challenges that were facing the eight year old constitution that was in place at the time.

Hamilton was able to design a system that involved the election of senators and governors. These two groups would be elected by special electors, and they would serve their posts all their lives. The citizens would be given a chance to elect assembly members. The elected individuals would serve for three years then there would be another election. His fellow delegates did not accept his ideas. However, they would not turn all his insights down as the government was on the verge of collapsing. It was clear that the central government required more power for it to survive. Therefore it was paramount for them to create a system that did not give excess power to any aspect of the government. The resolution led to the creation of four forms of government. The legislature, the executive, and the judiciary were formed to ensure that power was balanced within the government. They also defined all the relationships between the three arms to outlay how the government would work. The proposal was not accepted as only three delegates signed it.

It was important for another system of government to be formed to save the other one. The rejection of Hamilton’s proposal without consideration of the weak military and poor financial systems led to the decline of the government to the point of collapsing. The delegates decided on whether to ratify the constitution or to reject it. Hamilton and the other members of his Federalist group were voting for the constitution’s ratification. The Democratic – Republican Party members were voting for rejection of the constitution. They were not in support of Hamilton’s plan as it gave more a lot of power to the federal government. Hamilton joined Madison to write a series of essays regarding the constitution’s ratification. The 85 essay series was called The Federalist, which was Hamilton’s way of persuading people to ratify the constitution (Broadwater: 2021). He did not agree with the notion of rejecting a centralized government even though he had allocated more power to the federal government. His focus was on the significance of proper taxation systems. He was also concerned with the negative impact that would result from the dissention between the joined states. He also outlined the weaknesses that needed solutions in the current constitution.

Madison’s partnership with Hamilton and Jefferson was an attempt to defend the new constitution. They joined to write the Federalist, which was a series of essays that supported the rectification of the constitution. Their association was mainly focused on changing people’s minds regarding the total change in the constitution. They all believed in the importance of an efficient ruling system for all the states that had joined together. He wrote about twenty federalist essays, with Hamilton writing 50 and Jefferson 10 essays. The tenth article by Madison was the most popular among all his written essays. The article talked about the efficiency that would come with a single government ruling over the other states. He claimed that it was easier to protect public goods and private rights using a centralized government compared to having many republicans ruling themselves. In the year 1789, all the states approved the federal system, and it was implemented the same year. However, Madison felt that the constitution did not highlight the protection of citizenry rights enough (Burgess: 2006). He declared in the first federal Congress that there was a need to write a bill writes. As a politician, Madison was confronted with challenges in implementing the new government structure. He faced challenges in the new government form, conflict regarding the role of slaves, financial policies, and rights for Citizens and their freedom.

The Federalist Party was formed in the year 1787. This was a result of a Hamilton, Jay and Madison agreeing to work together. Their union led to the creation of 85 essays titled the Federalist. The essays encouraged all the people to embrace the new centralized government. They made an emphasis on the importance of having a central bank. At the time, the democratic government was almost collapsing. However, The Federalist was able to convince many people to accept the centralized government. Washington government was allowed to pass tax laws regarding the whole democratic nation. The administration of Washington was also supposed to assume state and national debts.

There was a compromise between the politicians in the year 1790. Jefferson invited two leaders from different parties for dinner at his house. The two leaders, Madison, and Hamilton were from different parties that were on opposite sides regarding the constitution. Hamilton’s Federalist Party was in support of the federal government possessing bulk economic and political power. Madison’s Democratic-Republican, on the other hand, had been advocating for power to be distributed within the states. Their main reason for the meeting was to resolve issues that had caused a deadlock in Congress. At the beginning of the year 1790, Hamilton’s first claim regarding the state assuming war debts was rejected by many people. He had suggested that the centralized government required the money for investment and to form a United States credit. The Citizens from the North supported the idea (Burgess: 2006). They supported it because they had not paid most of the debt. The southerners were not in support because their state had paid a huge amount of their revolutionary war debt. It was also difficult for Congress to decide on the exact location for the Capital. They had agreed to the formation of permanent Capital for the United States, but they had not decided on the location. Hamilton got his wish for the national government to take over the debts, and Madison and Jefferson were given a chance to build the National Capital in Columbia.

Hamilton’s plan was for the government to pay State and national bond debts. His idea was for the national government to repay the debts that states had obtained to fund the war. He also claimed that the government was supposed to sell more bonds to be able to pay for the previous bonds. Many people agreed with Hamilton as this idea would make money for the speculators. However, Madison opposed this idea. He claimed that the government would lose a lot of money which would only benefit a few citizens. The bonds had originally been sold to soldiers, and citizens had later been bought by speculators who would benefit from the government’s debt being repaid. Hamilton explained to Madison that failure to pay the debts would mean a lack of investors’ confidence in the United States. He emphasized the importance of having investors during the process of building a big economy for the centralized government system. Hamilton decided to support Madison’s wishes as long as they also supported his proposal as well. Hamilton agreed to their proposal to have the Capital built in the south as long as they supported his proposal for the national government to pay state taxes.

Madison and Hamilton are the four founders of the current governing system in the United States. Their ideologies form the basis for the current constitution and government system. Through their continuous defense of the constitution, they promoted the federalist system, which formed the foundation of a superpower. Through their ideas, the country was able to introduce and enforce stability in politics and effective governance of the whole republic (Burgess, and Alain-G: 2010). Their structures for the economy and government forms have assisted in the development of better financial systems and policies. Hamilton was able to create financial structures that helped the democratic republic overcome its challenges. The two-nation founders had differences in how the republican centralized government would work. However, they agreed on the importance of a single centralized government ruling over the rest of the states. Their ideas are responsible for forming the first political parties in the republican nation. Moreover, their union in writing the federalist papers helped people to see the importance of a centralized government with a big economy controlling the rest of the states.

Madison and Hamilton were similar in wanting to create a united state republican. Their main idea was to form a government with a centralized capital. The Capital would form the basis for controlling and ruling the other states. Their differences were due to their influence by other governments. Hamilton was in support of the British government, while Madison was in support of the French. Madison and Jefferson opposed Hamilton’s idea of a centralized government because his structure put more power to the federal government. They believed that their idea was better as I gave states and the citizens more power and freedom compared to what Hamilton was proposing. However, Hamilton’s idea for a new economic structure helped save the government from debts, and it also helped the economy to grow. He was also very keen on ensuring that his structure helped improve the army, which was very weak at the time. Both Madison is seen as great influencers on the constitution of the United States. Their ideas helped form a strong government that supports democracy up to date.

Annotated Bibliography

Sheehan, Colleen A. Madison v. Hamilton: The Battle Over Republicanism and the Role of Public Opinion, Cambridge University Press, Publishing Division, Aug. 2004, Madison v. Hamilton: The Battle Over Republicanism and the Role of Public Opinion.

Colleen Sheehan is a fellow from Princeton University. This articles examines the causes of difference in ideologies between Hamilton and James Madison in the early 1790’s and discusses the principles on which created their differing parties. Sheehan’s conclusion is that the stem of their differences is the extent to which people could rule themselves. This author is credible due to her extensive education in the field. This source is going to serve my paper as a citation other than Bailyn, Wood and the federalist papers on the differences in beliefs between Hamilton and Madison and where those beliefs come from.

Smith, Troy E. “Divided ‘Publius’: Democracy, Federalism, and the Cultivation of Public Sentiment.” JSTOR, Cambridge University Press, 2007,

Troy. E Smith is a Ph.D. professor of Political Science at Bringham Young University in Hawaii. In this article, Young discusses agreements and disagreements in the Federalist Papers, such as Madison and Hamiltons differing opinions on public opinion’s role in government and how to cultivate public sentiment for the Constitution. Smith concluded the differencing opinions between the two were due mostly to the ambiguity of the Constitution’s federal system and figuring out how to achieve Founding’s objectives to avoid corruption. This article is reputable due to Smith’s extensive educational background on the subject and I think it will serve my paper well in adding a layer of discussion to similarities and differences between Madison and Hamilton.

Broadwater, Jeff. “Madison, Hamilton, and the Neutrality Proclamation of 1793: Debating Presidential Power and Foreign Affairs.” Taylor & Francis Online, The Historian, 23 June 2021,

Jeff Broadwater is a professor of history at Barton College. In this article, Broadwater talks about the Neutrality Proclamation of 1793 and the responses of Hamilton and Madison. Broadwater is a reputable source due to his position as a history professor at Barton College. I intend to use this article to help showcase the different values of Madison and Hamilton be their differing responses to the Neutrality Proclamation of 1793 and show how they line up with the opposing views seen in the Federalist Papers.

Burgess, Michael. Comparative federalism: theory and practice. Routledge, 2006.

Michael Burges works as the department head for federal studies University of Kent. His research outlines the policies of federalism. He also describes the process of federalism in the USA. His research is focused on the conceptual aspect of federalism. His research also compares th federalism process in the USA as well as other nations such as India. This research is therefore crucial in providing insights regarding the origin of the federal government.

Burgess, Michael, and Alain-G. Gagnon. “Introduction: federalism and democracy.” Federal democracies. Routledge, 2010. 15-40.

Alain Gagnon is a professor at University du Quebec. His research is crucial in the federalist investigation as displays the close relationship between federalism and democracy in the government. The book goes through all the forms of federalism in various nations in the European Nation. The political scientist’s book covers all the aspects of federalism in depth and how the forms of federalism relate correlate with democracy. Their Research with Burces was crucial in identifying how the Federalist papers contributed to the formation of a federalist government in the USA.

Work Cited

Sheehan, Colleen A. “Madison v. Hamilton: The battle over republicanism and the role of public opinion.” American Political Science Review 98.3 (2004): 405-424.

Smith, Troy E. “Divided publius: Democracy, federalism, and the cultivation of public sentiment.” The Review of politics 69.4 (2007): 568-598.

Broadwater, Jeff. “Madison, Hamilton, and the Neutrality Proclamation of 1793: Debating Presidential Power and Foreign Affairs.” Taylor & Francis Online, The Historian, 23 June 2021,

Burgess, Michael. Comparative federalism: theory and practice. Routledge, 2006.

Burgess, Michael, and Alain-G. Gagnon. “Introduction: federalism and democracy.” Federal democracies. Routledge, 2010. 15-40.

Series, Electronic Classics. “The federalist papers.” (2001).


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